Archive | January, 2010

Capsule news

26 Jan

Time to see what events those lovely Brum ladies have in store for us in the coming months….

Capsule gigs Birmingham UK Feb/April Listings

For further details or for hi-res images please feel free to contact Lisa Meyer 0121 2482252

Capsule are promoters, curators, a record label, illustrators, photographers, bakers – bringing intriguing sights and sounds to Birmingham for the last ten years.
Capsule – crafting extraordinary events for adventurous audiences

Monday 1st February 2010

The Ex & Brass Unbound
+ Zun Zun Egui
Hare & Hounds . Birmingham
Doors 8pm

The Ex
The Ex don’t compromise and so it’s no surprise that they have put together one of the most powerful horn sections imaginable for this highly anticipated bespoke UK tour. Since 1979 this inspired, intrepid and seminal band have consistently pushed the envelope, plotting a restless course from their anarchist punk origins to embrace everything from fractured noise to Ethiopian groove. Their thrillingly raw and rhythmic rock sound is born from their ideals, musical friendships/networks and work ethic. Alive to the moment, they are sometimes described as ‘experimental trance-dance avant-afro-punk improv music’ – and no one knows what descriptions this musical metamorphosis will conjure up.

For 9 dates in Feb 2010 The Ex will unleash a brand new, wild and combustible show in collaboration with four of the world’s most powerful and performative horn players for some unbelievable in-the-red swing time. Brass Unbound comprise Swedish force of nature Mats Gustafsson (saxophone) from The Thing, Chicago jazz heavyweight Ken Vandermark (saxophone), Italian wild card Roy Paci (trumpet) and boundary busting classical/futurist Wolter Wierbos (trombone). This explosive combination of   dynamics, groove, ecstatic noise, free jazz, super tense rock and no bullshit attitude makes it all the more dexterous and dangerous. As players, improvisers and entertainers this expansive group are nothing short of phenomenal.

The Ex have been involved in a steady stream of boundary-breaking collaborations, releases, tours and films that have established them as a unique but under-acknowledged force in rock music, who are always on the move, but always sound like The Ex. 30 years into their career this hugely adventurous band are finally getting their dues, aligning them with contemporaries like Sonic Youth and Fugazi or current bands such as Battles, Zu and Action Beat.

“Once seen, a live performance by … The Ex is never forgotten. Imagine two men in short pants and army boots, guitars slung impossibly low, careering round the stage like demented dodgem cars, backed by a veritable arsenal of precision-honed polyrhythms” – The Wire
Thursday 11th February 2010
+ Einstellung
Town Hall Birmngham
Doors 7.30pm
0121 780 3333

Cluster is a German experimental musical group who influenced the development of contemporary popular electronic and ambient music. They have recorded albums in a wide variety of styles ranging from experimental music to progressive rock, all of which had an avant-garde edge. Cluster has been active since 1971, releasing a total of 13 albums. Musician, writer and rock historian Julian Cope places three Cluster albums in his Krautrock Top 50 and “The Wire” places Cluster’s self-titled debut album in their “One Hundred Records That Set The World On Fire”.
After a decade long hiatus Cluster reunited in 2007. Capsule are extremely proud to welcome this legendary duo to play in Birmingham. Cluster has been widely influential not only to ambient and electronic music artists, but to techno, electronica and popular music as well. Musicians from David Bowie to Brian Eno have been influenced by (and even participated in) Cluster’s groundbreaking recordings.
Wednesday 10th March
Atsuhiro Ito + guests
VIVID Heath Mill Lane Birmingham
Doors 8pm

Japan’s Atsuhiro Ito performs using his device the Optron, essentially fluorescent light tubes with integrated guitar pick-ups sent through guitar amp stacks.

When the voltage applied to the tubes is altered, the lights flicker and the pick-ups harvest the electromagnetic noise perfectly synchronized with the flickering light, the intense noise creating a visual hallucination and the sounds veering from some kind of extreme techno to outright noise.

Ito also performs with the Optron in the duo Optrum, where he vies cacophonously with drummer Yoichiro Shin – they released the album Recorded on the Unknownmix label in 2006 – and he’s also previously collaborated with C. Spencer Yeh. You can find him in all three combinations on various riotous Youtube clips.

For his first UK tour though, he’ll be performing solo in a live show that straddles extreme noise and performance art to create a genuine sonic spectacle.

“Ito seems to wrangle a blend of techno and noise from simple pedals and his optron, creating blistering volumes of noise cutting in and out, dense with analog textures, while also producing repeated rhythms. The rhythmic in-and-out can be dense in the low end, and lithe in the high, creating a defacto drum kit of noise, mechanically pulsing just so atop the blistering screeches.

However, it is not just the sounds that thrill. The entire performance is compelling, not just because of the light show (exciting and disorienting though the strobe from the brilliant optron may be), but because of the manner with which Ito utilizes his instrument. Slung in a manner resembling a guitarist wielding his axe, Ito takes this novel device and produces anything but rock and roll, but it makes the viewer remember the old adage that “punk is an attitude.” It is the attitude of the player that defines the instrument, and the instrument that often determines the players mood. For as rock as Ito comes off, the harsh sounds, the techno feel, give his performance, and the visuals that accompany it… a noir, futuristic, dirty look. By drawing attention to this interplay, the tug and pull of intent versus inspiration, Ito’s conceptual work can blow minds and ear drums in equal measure.”

Friday 12th March
Rob Hall, Russell Haswell, Didjit
Rainbow Warehouse Digbeth High Street Birmingham
Doors 9pm

Rob Brown (born c. 1971) and Sean Booth (born c. 1973), both natives of Rochdale. The group is one of the most prominent acts signed with Warp Records, a label known for its pioneering electronic music artists. Some journalists consider Autechre to be a paragon of IDM and one of the driving forces behind its development, though Booth and Brown are ambivalent in relating their sound to established genres.
Tuesday 16th March
Mono + Rose Kemp
The Asylum Hockley Birmingham
Doors 8pm

The music is naturally majestic, with MONO’s trademark wall of noise crashing beautifully against the largest chamber orchestra the band has ever enlisted. The instrumentation is vast, incorporating strings, flutes, organ, piano, glockenspiel and tympani into their standard face-melting set-up.
Recorded to analog tape with long-time friend and producer Steve Albini, there is an intimacy captured here that is at once beautiful and a little terrifying. The creaking of old wooden chairs as the orchestra rocks in their seats (both literally and figuratively), puckered lips rolling along flutes, and even the conductor’s opening cue can be heard during the hauntingly quiet opening moments

While Hymn continues to mine the cinematic drama inherent in all of MONO’s music, the dynamic shifts now come more from dark-to-light instead of quiet-to-loud. The maturity to balance these elements so masterfully has become MONO’s strongest virtue.

Rose’s unique powerful vocal is sometimes operatic, sometimes fierce but equally haunting, her musical style is extremely difficult to categorize. Folk-esque /heavy rock has previously been cited but doesn’t really sum up this exceptional album. Woven together with multi hook harmonies and quality instrumentation, this album slowly buries itself under your skin. Lyrically the songs are compelling and their content somewhat mysterious but backed up with heavy rock guitar, oversized drums and old Synths and organs, they are infectious and thought provoking. Her influences are numerous but include the classic rock of Black Sabbath and stoner rock legends Melvins, Drone artists such as Earth and Om. She is also influenced by classic Black Metal, Doom and 70’s prog right through to timeless songwriters including Kate Bush and Tom Waits, amongst many others.

Part of folk-rock heritage, Rose is the daughter of Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp from seminal, Pioneering British Folk-Rock band Steeleye Span.  As a young teenager she sang and toured and occasionally wrote with her parents various different projects including Steeleye Span (who still gig today), and her life on the road began when she was knee-high, accompanying her parents on tour.
Friday 9th April
Eyehategod + guests
The Asylum Hockley Birmingham
Doors 8pm

They’ve been called doomcore, sludge and stoner rock, survived line-up shuffles, label hassles and a short-lived split. And after more than a decade of creating some of the most corrosive, vile music known to man, EyeHateGod still hasn’t lost the piss and vinegar that fueled them back in ’98.
Tuesday 27th April
Three Trapped Tigers
Health & Efficiency
Hare & Hounds Birmingham
Doors 8pm

hree Trapped Tigers are an instrumental noisenik outfit from London who exhibit the precision of electronica, the raw intensity of rock music and the schizophrenic spontaneity of their electro-improv past. Not easily classifiable, but with influences ranging from Aphex Twin and Squarepusher to Lightning Bolt and Battles. The music veers wildly from noisy guitars to contemplative synths, frantic beats to ambient noise.

For further details or for hi-res images please feel free to contact Lisa Meyer 0121 2482252

crafting extraordinary events for adventurous audiences
Its time to start celebrating

New Pelican video for Final Breath

13 Jan

It is a really breathtaking video of the final track on their latest album What We All Come To Need out now on Southern Lord, best viewed in full screen. Read my interview with Pelican in the latest Mass Movement magazine which you can download for free!!!

VIC CHESNUTT 1964-2009

13 Jan

Photo by Jem Cohen

The news of Vic Chesnutt’s passing on Christmas day was totally devastating and we are still coming to terms with the event.  I can only begin to imagine what his close family and friends are going through right now, Constellation included. The tributes and letters of condolence have been greatly appreciated.

Although this email is being sent weeks after the event, it serves not as an announcement of his passing rather a means of making people aware of some key sites where you can obtain further information about the incident. There is an announcement and eulogies on the Constellation site , Constellation are also directing people to the announcement in the NY Times, and also a tribute and donations page set up by Vic’s close friend Kristen Hersh.

His music will continue to reach out to me and so many others and all that I can say is that I hope he is now at peace.
“Free of hope, free of the past, thank you God of nothing, I’m free at last, I’m free at last.”